Immediately following the Bahamas success in the Caribbean Cup in the Caymans the team participated in the 1st World Darts Federation's Regional Tournament, the Americas Cup which involves teams for North, Central and South America including the Caribbean and Bermuda. This brought in the national teams from the United States, Canada and Brazil to join those Caribbean countries present for the Caribbean Cup.
This tournament, 6 years in the making was also a huge success with all the countries who were not members of the World Darts Federation joining the WDF and becoming eligible for World Ranking points and now able to participate in future Americas Cups and the WDF World Cup which takes in France 2003.
The tournament is different from the Caribbean Cup, lasting only 3 days and held in the form of four round robin leagues from which 2 from each league emerge into a knockout event leading to the eventual Americas Cup winners. The USA were victorious in this event with Canada coming in second place. The Bahamas ended up in 5th position being knocked out in the quarter finals by eventual winners USA. The USA had a strong team which included Stacy Bromberg, the only Darts player to make Sports Illustrated 'Athletes of the Century' list. It was not as easy as it looked for the USA and in the game against the Bahamas the Bahamas team was ahead and were looking possible winners but folded at the double stage in three of the games where they had taken the initial lead.
Wayne "Fish" Copeland from Grand Bahama reached the men's singles final where he lost to Canada's John Part, currently the World's number 2 Darts player. 2-14 dart games and 2-15 dart games were enough to see Fish off. Consistency! Nassau's Trudy Johnson made it to the semi finals of the women's singles where she lost to USA Jennifer Daggy.
These players, along with Steve Harris who made it to the men's singles quarter finals all receive World Ranking Points and are now ranked along with the World's best. Following the tournament Malcolm Spicer form Abaco, President of the Bahamas Darts Federation was elected President of the World Darts Federation's Americas Region Council which encompasses the North, South and Central America and the Caribbean including Bermuda.
The Bahamas National Darts Team returned from the Cayman Islands this last week having defended their Caribbean Title with great success and for the 4th time came out Winners in the Caribbean Championships.
12 countries participated in this, the 14th Caribbean Cup. From Bahamas, Bermuda, Florida, Cayman, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Guyana, Turks and Caicos, St. Lucia and Barbados they all came to battle for this, the most prestigious tournament in this region.
From the outset the Bahamas team took control by beating the Florida squad 7-5 and the Belize team 11-1, Florida were one of the favourites and in beating them on the opening day the Bahamas gained much confidence and sent out that all important message that they were there to win. Points and positions for the team event were as follows: BAHAMAS 99pts, ST. LUCIA 90pts, JAMICA 84pts, BARBADOS 81pts, FLORIDA 78pts, GUYANA 78pts, CAYMAN 66pts, BERMUDA 62pts, Trinidad & Tobago 53pts, BELIZE 48pts, BVI 43pts, and Turks & Caicos 10pts.
The Bahamas team was made up of a powerful squad from Abaco, Nassau and Grand Bahama, chosen following many National tournaments here in the Bahamas. From Nassau there was Tony Moree, Steve Harris, Howard Hepburn, Ken Brathwaite, Barry Payne, Harry Brown, Trudy Johnson, Helen Sweeting and Congette Green. From Grand Bahama was Prescott Minnis, Judy "Pepper" Sweeting, Valerie George and Wayne "Fish" Copeland.
President of the Bahamas Darts Federation and Secretary-General of the Caribbean Darts Organization, Malcolm Spicer, from Abaco, accompanied the team as did Manager Byron Johnson from Grand Bahama, Captain Donald Burrows from Abaco and Coach Peter Duncombe from Grand Bahama.
Team events results for the Bahamas were as follows: 11 Bahamas vs Belize 1, 7 Bahamas vs Florida 5, 10 Bahamas vs BVI 2, 10 Bahamas vs Guyana 2, 10 Bahamas vs Cayman 2, 12 Bahamas vs T & T 0, 12 Bahamas vs Turks & C 0, 6 Bahamas vs St. Lucia 6, 6 Bahamas vs Jamaica 6, 7 Bahamas vs Barbados 5, 8 Bahamas vs Bermuda 4.
The final positions in the Caribbean Cup were as follows. The Individual Events and the Team Events points are combined to find the winners.
FINAL POSITIONS CARIBBEAN CUP 2002
1ST Bahamas 187pts, 2nd St. Lucia 139pts, 3rd Florida 134pts, 4TH Jamaica 131pts, 5th Barbados 109pts, 6th Cayman 100pts, 7th Guyana 89pts, 8th T&T 84pts, 9th Bermuda 83pts, 10th Belize 73pts, 11th BVI 60pts, and 12th Turks & C 10pts.
The tournament itself goes on for 9 days, 9 hours and is not for the faint or weary! The Bahamas team are very professional and thorough in their preparation and how they organize themselves with Manager Byron Johnson, Coach Peter Duncombe and Captain Donald Burrows always alert to the needs of the players and ensuring that we have the demeanor and capability to produce our best at every opportunity and much thanks need to go to them for their adherence to their duties.
Apart from the Team Event the players also were most successful in the individuals events with Barry Payne, Helen Sweeting and Harry Brown winning the mixed Triples event, beating a strong Florida team while Byron "Barry" Payne became Caribbean Mens singles Champion for the first time beating Sheldon Lionel from St. Lucia in a competitive final. Barry pulled out all the stops and played his best darts of the tournament.
Five of the Bahamas men got through to the quarter finals of the singles, Tony Moree, Harry Brown, Barry Payne Wayne Copeland and Howard Hepburn and this depth of team went a long way to helping the Bahamas secure their fourth title. Ken Brathwaite and Steve Harris also secured points in the singles.
Helen Sweeting and Pepper Russell got valuable points in the women's singles, reaching the quarter finals.
Steve Harris and Wayne Copeland made it to the semi finals of the men's doubles and were unlucky not to reach the final being beaten by a Bermuda pair who played their games of the tournament. Tony Moree and Barry Payne made it to the quarter finals.
Congette Green and Valerie George made the quarter finals of the women's doubles.
One of the highlights for the Bahamas team was to play against former Caribbean Champion Earl Smith, a mainstay of the Bahamas National team for many years, a Bahamian, but now residing in the Caymans and eligible to play for the Cayman team which he did. His old form was still there but in this tournament one man doesn't make a winner. The Bahamas team, strong right through came away once again with the spoils. Well done Team.
Final overall results were:
Carib Cup Winner 2002 Bahamas 187pts
Carib Cup Runner Up St. Lucia 139pts
Carib Cup 3rd place Florida 134pts
Carib Cup 4th place Jamaica 131pts.
Team Event Winners 2002 Bahamas 99pts,
Team Event Runner Up St. Lucia 90pts,
Team Event 3rd Place Jamaica 84pts.
Men's Single Winner B. Payne, Bahamas,
Men's Single Runner Up S. Lionel, St. Lucia.
Women's Singles Winner P. Francis, British Virgin Islands,
Women's Singles Run-up D. Marsh Jamaica.
Men's Double Winners J. Cebrinski and M. Meares, Florida,
Men's Double Run-up D. Griffin and G. McQueen Bermuda.
Women's Double Winners L. Dubrueq and K, Meares Florida,
Women's Double Run-up E. Gronli and F. Smith Florida.
Mixed Doubles Winners H. Ebanks and K. Schirmacher Cayman,
Mixed Doubles Run-up H. Brown and M. Cooke Jamaica.
Mixed Triples Winners B. Payne, H. Sweeting and H. Brown Bahamas
Mixed Triples Run-up R. Lott, D. Evans and K. Meares Florida.
Most 180's Men H. T. Brown Jamaica 7, M. Birthwright Jamaica 7.
Most 180's Women P. Francis, British Virgin Islands 2.
High Check Off Men 156 S. Harris Bahamas,
High Check Off Women 170 S. Stevens, Barbados.
Low Dart Singles, Men 13 darts D. Griffin, Bermuda
Low Dart Singles, Women 16 darts M. Stephens, Barbados.
The next Caribbean Tournament is to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June, 2004.